Beirut Chamber at the ICC - WCF council and the Belt & Road Trade Investment Forum in Beijing
ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) held its General Council meeting in Beijing - China in collaboration with the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC). The ICC WCF General Council is chaired by Peter Mihok and includes about 50 members representing chambers from different regions including Mr. Rabih Sabra the Director General of the Chamber of Beirut and Mount Lebanon.
On April 10th 2018 the GC meeting included a special session dedicated to the presentations of the WCF candidates for the 12th edition of the World Chambers Congress, the largest global chamber event of its kind.
Moving from region to region around the globe on a biennial basis, the World Chambers Congress is the only international forum for chamber leaders and business professionals to share best-practices, exchange insights, develop networks and address the latest business issues affecting their communities. The prestigious event brings together over 1,000 delegates from more than 100 countries, making it an ideal and unique platform to foster positive development, cooperation and the advancement of bold initiatives.
Four chambers are in the running for the World Chambers Federation’s (WCF) flagship event, returning in 2021 to the Africa/Middle East region: Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce (ECCSA), Iran Chamber of Commerce (ICCIMA) and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and the final decision about the winner will be announced in June 2018.
The GC meetings witnessed also the signature of a memorandum of understanding between Yin Zonghua, Vice President of Vice-Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) and Peter Mihok, Chairman of ICC WCF.
The MOU aims at enhancing inter-chamber cooperation, exchanging best practices, providing investment opportunities, promoting bilateral economic and trade relations for global development and trade facilitation. Both chambers also plan to develop a range of joint projects, including those linked to the Belt and Road Initiative.
During the afternoon meeting that was held between the council members and representatives from the regional CCPIT, insights, experiences and views were exchanged between the two sides on the possible means to enhance trade and promote investments.
The Council was followed by a special event on 12 April, the Belt & Road Trade and Investment Forum, organised by the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC), its Silk Road Business Council (SRBC) and supported by ICC WCF.
Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes to seek common development and prosperity.
During the Belt & Road Trade and Investment Forum over 700 business representatives, government officials and experts from 70 countries and regions have met to brainstorm on how to enhance cooperation in infrastructure and trade investment.
Peter Mihok confirmed "What we appreciated very much is the large opening of the Chinese market and we appreciate very much that you will organize the first import Expo here in China. It is a sigh that you are really supporting globalization and the liberal market."
Mihok praised highly China's effort in promoting global trade under the Belt and Road Initiative, adding that connectivity and openness are key for trade.
Within the forum, Chinese businesses were also convened to bring e-commerce, big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence services to countries along the BRI trading routes to help them develop a digital economy.
The Chinese President Xi Jinping recently reassured to open up markets from banking to auto manufacturing within BRI and plans are underway to boost innovation in overseas investments, improve efficiency in foreign aid, step up cooperation, as well as deepen regional economic and trade cooperation.